We bring Blender into the teaching course at Information Management, National Taiwan University.
“The screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world. The challenge is to make that world look real, act real, sound real, feel real.”
Ivan Sutherland known as the father of computer graphic once said.
Indeed, we live in a three-dimensional (3D) physical world, but only through the last two decades of 3D technology development, we are seeing a 3D virtual world through the screen, even more stunning, enchanting, captivating than the reality.
We own this great progress to tremendous evolutional development of 3D computer graphics, fast and powerful processing chips, high definition displays, smart mobile devices and affordable VR headsets. It also opens up a strong demand of 3D creation contents for 3D applications. This course attempts to fill the apparent gap of 3D talents between the academic and the market place.
What make this course unique?
First, it is organized in four main parts that are integrated together as a wholistic learning experience:
(A) 3D Foundation: Knowledge and Skill (follow text books 1 and 2)
Topics: HTML5, 3D Graphics Basics, WebGL and Real-time 3D Rendering, 3D Graphics and Rendering in Three.js, 3D Creation Process, 3D Engines and Frameworks, Mobile 3D Applications, Virtual Reality (VR), WebVR, and Augmented Reality (AR).
(B) 3D Creation: Demo and Practice (follow text book 3)
Topics: Blender Basics and Interface, Character Creation, Design, Modeling, Unwrapping, Texturing, Shading, Skelton, Rigging, and Animation, Camera Tracking, Lighting, Compositing, and Integration into a Real Video.
(C). 3D Applications: Case study and Presentation
Topics: studies of pertinent cases in 3D applications will help student gain a broader and deeper understanding of how a 3D production is done and what are the factors that would contribute to its success? Or factors that cause its failure?
Pokemon Go (AR): the fast rise and fall of users, why?
3D Movie, why is it not as popular as before? Ang Lee’s recent 3D movie “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” with 4K resolution and 120 FPS as an example?
Space exploration: NASA’s Curiosity roller on Mars. How 3D interactivity helps our learning?
3D fashion, how does 360 body scanning“ work? What are the bottleneck for 3D fashion?
VR headsets: the key success factor of VR: low cost? Or experience? Or content?
Crowd funding for 3D projects: which is the right crowd funding platform? What are the essential elements of a funding proposal for a 3D project?
(D). 3D Project: hand on practice and team work
Topics: students will work as a team for a real-life 3D project with the in-class helps of professional 3D experts. The topics could cover all 3D applications beyond gaming, in education, in architectural and interior design, in heritage and archeology, in medical field and health, in industrial design and prototyping, in art and museum, in retails, in tourism, in AR and VR applications.
Second, this course emphasizes free, open source, cross-platform tools for 3D creation with HTML5 and global 3D visualization standard, using the browser as platform.
Third, this course is organized for information management (IM) students in mind, but it also welcomes non-IM or non-information technology majors to join. Its curriculum, case studies, homework, and projects are designed multi-tracked separately for technology and non-technology students.
Fourth, students will benefit from instructor’s 3D business experience and also from half a dozen quest speakers from various 3D professional fields. They will be invited to talk on specific 3D topics, to help lead case studies, and to help advise 3D team projects.
3D virtual world is so big and wide, enough for everyone to find a place of personal interest with its endless possibility in reality. Just imagine in 3D!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge!” -Albert Einstein